The second iteration of the Swedish brand’s rival to the Audi Q5 looks to be a big step forward on its nine-year old predecessor, which accounts for around 30 per cent of Volvo’s global sales.
Underneath the sleek new design — which clearly follows the family trend of the bigger XC90, and the S90/V90 passenger car leaders — is the company’s scalable architecture, available in this configuration as all-wheel-drive-only.
The cabin is every bit as stylised and distinctive as its 90 Series stablemates, with the familiar portrait touchscreen, minimalist layout and copious use of leather, carpet and steel highlights to add some character and desirability.
The new ‘CleanZone’ four-zone climate system removes harmful pollutants and particles from outside the cabin to deliver “Scandinavian-fresh” air on the inside.
Billed as one of the safest cars ever made, the new XC60 comes available with active safety features such as a semi-autonomous driver assistance system that handles steering, acceleration and braking (on well-marked roads) up to 130 km/h.
There are also several new driver assistance features, including steering support paired to its city autonomous braking and blind-spot monitoring systems, and tech that steers you away from a potential head-on crash at up to 140km/h.
Volvo has confirmed five drivetrains — two petrol, two diesel, and a T8 petrol-electric plug-in, all with AWD and an eight-speed auto transmission as standard. Those familiar with the 90 Series cars will recognise the engines.
The petrol units are the 2.0-litre turbocharged T5 AWD (187kW/350Nm, 0-100km/h in 6.8sec) and the 2.0-litre turbo- and supercharged T6 AWD (235kW/400Nm, 0-100km/h in 5.9sec).
Diesel fans can get the 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged D4 AWD (140kW/400Nm, fuel use of 5.2L/100km) and the D5 AWD with the same engine (matching displacement, compression ratio etc) but tuned-up to 172kW/480Nm.
The T8 PHEV used the T6’s twin-charged petrol engine, but adds a 65kW/240m electric motor at the rear, plus battery pack in the transmission tunnel.
The claimed fuel-use over the first 100km is 2.1 litres, thanks to its 45km of pure EV range. The 0-100km/h run takes 5.3 seconds.
At 4688mm long, 2117mm wide and 1658mm high, the new XC60 is a little longer and wider than the old car, but lower. Its 2865mm wheelbase is about 90mm longer, promising more rear legroom.
The weights appear to be up a little despite the new architecture, listed as between 2082kg and 2349kg depending on variant (portly), while the 505-litre cargo space is slightly greater than before. Air suspension can be fitted as an option.
Volvo Cars’ new XC60 is set to go into production in mid-April at the Torslanda Plant in Sweden.
The new Volvo XC60 will hit Australia in the fourth quarter of 2017, with more specific timing to be confirmed closer to launch.
The outgoing XC60 remains Volvo’s top-seller in Australia last year, with 2134 sales (up almost 25 per cent thanks to sharp deals). This volume was roughly half that of the top-selling Mercedes-Benz GLC and Land Rover Discovery Sport.